Gator cross country teams find success at St. Vincent invitational

Allegheny College’s men’s and women’s cross country team found success on Saturday, Sept. 17, competing against a host of other teams from the NCAC as well as against non-conference teams in the region. The men’s 8K run kicked off the meet at St.Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and was followed by the women’s 6K race.

The men’s team ran their second meet of the preseason at St.Vincent, which hosted several collegiate teams of all three divisions. Some of these included the University of Pittsburgh’s club team, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Carnegie Mellon University,  who compete in DI, DII and DIII respectively.

Even with IUP’s win, Allegheny positioned itself better than the team was expecting, capitalizing with a second place finish. Men’s captain Randy Violette, ’17, ran the 8K with a time of 26:35.37. Women’s team captain SJ Guillaume, ’17, finished first overall in the 6K with a time of 23:18.00, a personal best for Guillaume. Several other Allegheny runners achieved personal bests, and now looks at the St.Vincent meet as an impressive precursor to the season ahead.

Emmett Barr, ’17, a distance runner, said the team’s disciplined work in the preseason led to the successful outcome of the men’s team.

“Tempo runs started as a team several weeks before everyone even got here. The guys have been overly conscious about not getting injured and training hard but safe. And with this year’s group, I feel as if we have a decent mix of runners from all classes,” Barr said.

The women followed the men in competing on Saturday and did not disappointment, outperforming their competition and placing better than most expected. Emily Forner, ’19, also achieved a personal best, with a time of 24:04.00 in the 6K.

“Most were not expecting such a great overall performance … but it isn’t surprising with the hardworking line up we have this year,” said Emily Forner, ’19.

Forner has high hopes for the team as the season progresses, especially in regards to the first-years new to collegiate competition.

“The freshmen look all around promising, and bring talent … and since the beginning of training back in August, have gotten acquainted with how things are done here very well,” Forner said.

Monica Patrick, ’17, said the team is working on overcoming injuries and staying focused on improving.

“It was wonderful to watch the team stay smart and focused and gradually move up instead of going for it without thinking,” Patrick said.

Patrick finished the 6K in 23:28.00, placing second.

“The reason we did so well like that was because we were prepared for the hills, with the hills here, back home on campus,” Patrick said.

Forner agreed, adding that the St. Vincent course felt familiar.

“We haven’t even started to see the best of what we can do this season yet,” Forner said.

The Gators will run next on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Lehigh University Paul Short Invite in Bethlehem, Pennsylvannia.